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Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce could be postponed for a third time if crowd restrictions aren’t lifted

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Promoter Frank Warren has admitted he may be forced to postpone the all-British heavyweight fight between Daniel Dubois 14-0 (13) and Joe Joyce 11-0 (10) for a third time if crowd restrictions aren’t lifted.

The duo were initially scheduled to meet on April 11 before the global coronavirus pandemic hit, pushing the fight date back to July 11 before being rescheduled again for October 24.

That date now appears to be in jeopardy with Warren reluctant to put the fight on without a substantial live gate.

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“You may get 3,000 people in the 20,000-seat arena, but that’s gonna look awful,” Warren told talkSPORT Fight Night.

“You’re not gonna be allowed to sit next to each other, you’ve gotta spread them all around the arena.

“If you’ve got a one metre distance around you and you’re sitting in a seat, then it’s not just either side of you, it’s in front and behind you. So that means only 20 per cent of the seats can be sold.”

Joyce returned to action for the first time in a year with a third-round knockout of Michael Wallisch at the BT Sport Studio in London on Saturday night. There was no live audience for the fight.

Similarly, Dubois’s fight against Erik Pfeiffer at the same venue on August 29 will take place without a crowd.

Warren insists boxers need a crowd to perform at their best.

“I’d want it full. I’ve got no idea [how many would be allowed in],” Warren continued.

“But I’ve gotta be honest with you, if it’s something like 20 per cent then we’ll postpone it again. We’ve gotta have a live audience.

“One of the earlier fights [from Saturday’s show], some of the kids on there, Chris Bourke and Henry Turner, they said they missed the audience.

“And that gets a bit more out of the guys.

“If you’ve got a competitive fight, like with Daniel and Joe, you want the crowd cheering their man on.

“You want that atmosphere, you want them responding to that.

“You can feel the crowds, it gets a bit more out of you and can create more excitement.

“That’s how we need it. I don’t want it in a sterile atmosphere, it needs a crowd.”

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